You don’t have to sacrifice quality to get a better price. In fact, what this article is about is how to give yourself an instant raise while also providing your pets with healthier, more delicious food.
When we mention a meat dehydrator, it might sound like a lot of work. The reality is that it’ll take about 20 minutes to an hour of effort, once every few months. Since dehydrated dog food will last for 1-2 years, you could also reduce that to once per year, saving money on bulk purchases!
From there on, it’s just as convenient as using a bag of dry dog food. The entire feeding process is scoop, pour warm water and wait 3 minutes!
Dehydrated vs dry dog food
The major difference between the two is that one is meant to be consumed dry. Dehydrated dog food on the other hand, has 95% or more of its moisture reduced, and is served wet. This ends up being healthier for your dog’s digestive system.
Most pets drink enough water on a regular basis to offset this with their dry dog food. However, this distinction is worth mentioning due to common misconceptions on quality.
In fact, dog food brands can’t deliver the same quality, without charging an arm and a leg for it. For one, preservatives are required for safe food storage. When you make it in a single evening at home, you have control over the ingredients, and it stores efficiently.
What you need to know about ‘natural dog food’
Terms like natural and organic can be misleading in the marketplace. The only way to guarantee that your food is made with organically-grown, heirloom-variety ingredients with plenty of naturally-occurring nutrients is to be in control.
Before you go out and start making recipes, you also need to know some diet-based details. For starters, dogs require an appropriate balance of protein (meat, generally), carbs, veggies, healthy fats, oils and fatty acids.
Egg yolks, leftover meats, brown rice and an enormous variety of vegetables can be used to form and supplement a dog’s diet. Organs like liver and kidneys, for example, can also comprise up to 10% of a dog’s diet, and cost very little to purchase.
Dog food that you can make at home
One reason for using an air dehydrator is nutrient consistency. Since dry kibble is cooked at high temperatures, it tends to lose much of its nutritional value. It’ll also allow you to make enormous batches in one sitting, if that fits your fancy.
We’ve provided a recipe to make things simple. Please review our overview of ingredients that you can use to replace and change many of the ingredients to suit your purposes, as well. We actually recommend using a variety of vegetables to create a more well-rounded diet.
- 35% lean ground meat (chicken, beef, pork, fish, etc.)
- 8% cooked brown rice
- 2% beans (black, pinto, kidney, etc.)
- 45% part mixed veggies (sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, carrots, green beans, black beans)
- 5% mixed fruits
- 4% whole egg
- 1% powdered egg shell
Putting the dehydrated dog food recipe together
Each portion is dried individually in a home dehydrator. Your machine should have digital time and temperature settings for this purpose. If it has an external air flow mechanism, you’ll be able to consistently desiccate large batches of various foods at the same time.
The eggshells are a small, yet critical component for this recipe, for the calcium. Although they can get some of this mineral from chewing on bones, it’s essential to supplement their regular diet. Another option is to use a homemade bone broth powder.
You can make powdered eggshells by washing eggs before you crack them. Afterward, boil the shells for 10 minutes, then bake them in your oven for 30 minutes at 200 degrees F. Finally, powder them with a coffee grinder, food processor or a mortar and pestle.
The last step is to powder and combine all of the dried ingredients. Store a month’s worth of dog food in individual vacuum-sealed bags, and put the rest in a jar!
An air dehydrator is a convenient way to upgrade your dog’s food and save money!